Little 500 Poster

For this project, I decided to use Milton Glaser’s work as my inspiration. Specifically focusing on his iconic Bob Dylan poster (see below). Glaser’s style is aesthetically pleasing to me. I really enjoy retro graphics and wanted to experiment with that. Before I began preliminary sketches, I researched Glaser’s work and took note of reoccurring design elements I could utilize. Some examples I found were striking color, use of white space and/or pattern(s), silhouettes, purposeful proportion, and more. Once I established the overall look I hoped to achieve, I roughly sketched many options with different imagery, crops, etc. Eventually I narrowed my idea down to a biker silhouette riding on a colorful, swirly racetrack with text “Little 500”, the date, and location spread across the bottom.

The next steps in my creative process started with more sketching. I drew the biker silhouette in further detail a couple of times before drawing it with the pen tool in Illustrator. This was probably the hardest part of the assignment. Looking at photos of little 500 bikers online helped me translate a complex action into a graphic icon. I also drew variations of swirly lines on the racetrack before using the pen tool. Some were more linear, some more circular. A good mix of the two is what I went with.

Producing the rest of the poster (typography, border, the black shape under the track, etc.) was fairly simple. I found the typography online by searching “Milton Glaser fonts”. The typeface is called “Baby Teeth” and is almost exactly like the typography in the Bob Dylan poster. (Due to licensing restrictions, this typeface cannot be viewed in the PDF online. I took a screenshot of the PDF, which is what the viewer will see instead.) My favorite part of creating this poster was adding color in the end, especially on the racetrack. As Steve suggested, I incorporated the Little 500 flag colors. Typically, I design everything in black and white first and then add color.

All in all, I had a lot of fun with this project in the short amount of time I had to make everything come into fruition. I would like to continue making posters in Glaser’s style and also explore other graphic designers’ work as inspiration. When I was choosing which designer to do, I made a short list of others I also like.

This is the Bob Dylan inspiration poster I referenced for this project by Milton Glaser. 

Tadashi Ueda influence

Tadashi Ueda is a young Japanese graphic designer who was born in 1988. Ueda now works primarily as a commercial graphic designer, though most of his Tumblr is filled with fanciful posters knocked together in his spare time. His works are like poems, which is concise and draws poetic meaning from observations of the everyday.

I choose Ueda as my influence is because his works show minimalism in a complicated expression. Sometimes his designs look messy but organized in some way, so that people don’t feel crowded but impressive. When the first time I saw his work, I felt it looked wired. But the more times I looked at his works, I found they are meaningful and attractive. Ueda’s works use lots of geometric elements and very saturated bright colors. Some colors are highly contrasted but create harmonious and balanced feelings. There are also many repetitions of a pattern. He likes putting main graphics in the middle. He likes adding humor to his design by using shapes or cartoon-like characters.

In my design, I tried different colors for the background that are similar with Ueda’s design, but they are not as bright as Ueda’s even though I used eyedropper to pick up colors from his works. Then I realized it was because my color mode was CMYK color, so I created a new file with RGB color. Bright colors help people see the poster from long distance. I noticed that Ueda always use sans serif fonts in his designs, but I couldn’t find same one. I choose Helvetica for all text. For the title, I added transform effect to make it bold and eye-catching. I also added Japanese word “激しい” which means excited. It helps make the poster more Ueda’s style. I duplicated four bicycle shapes as the main visual section because most little 500 teams race with four people. Behind the bicycle shapes are the map of Indiana that represents the racing track. I also made a cartoon character that looks funny and surprising to add some humor. The information about women and men’s racing dates are tracking along the shape of Indiana map and high-speed symbol, just like what Ueda did in his poster. Overall, I think my poster looks like Ueda’s work and I hope other people can like it too.

Bradbury Thompson Influence Project

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For my poster design, I chose to take influence from the designer, Bradbury Thompson. I chose him because I admired how he experimented with typography, color, and imagery as he layered material to create new, unique designs. I enjoy the simplicity of his design and the quirky way he combines a CMYK color scheme in many of his designs with distinct imagery that you may not first associate with one another. Thompson was a hugely influential graphic designer with a prolific career in book, magazine and stamp design.

Many of his designs feature a central image in multiples, which is why I decided to layer 4 images of a bike on top of one another. I found the image on a free image website and then began to edit the image in Photoshop. I first cut the bike from the image, fine-tuned everything with the eraser tool, and then turned it to greyscale, as most main imagery from Thompson is black. I also chose a photograph rather than an illustration of a bike because many of his works feature real photos, rather than drawings.

Many of Thompson’s works feature the use of CMYK colors. For my stripes, I utilized these colorings. Many of his designs play with the transparency of the different shades. I chose to minimally lighten the cyan, keep the magenta opaque, and significantly increase the transparency of the yellow so that the black dots used in my image would shine through and create a layered feel. I also used the stripes to play with Thompson’s use of geometric shapes in his designs. In some of his designs other than his well-known CMYK designs, Thompson utilizes halftones to add detail. I did this with the black halftone dots to add more complexity to my design. I had problems adding the halftones on Illustrator, so I ended up just adding a pattern to my shape, yet I am pleased with how it turned out.

Thompson was known for his own font he developed, called Alphabet 26. I could not find his font online for free, so I used a similar font called Mean 26 that was inspired by Thompson. His style simplified the letters, where uppercase and lowercase forms of each letter were the same and the case was expressed only through letter size.  I chose to use this same style as I felt it goes with many of his designed pieces which all use this same typography. However with the font I chose, the numbers were much larger than the text even when applied in the same size. I tinkered with this some and tried to make the size smaller so they would match, yet I decided to keep it this way as I felt it made the typography look more unique and less traditional. It also added more emphasis to the numbers which I thought made sense because the 500 is such an integral part of the race, and the dates are important to be emphasized so viewers know when the event is being held. I also chose to line my “Little 500” text up with the cyan stripe, as Thompson likes to play with the placement of his typography. I also intentionally lined up the bike tire to fall in between the two words, as I felt this tied things together more.

If I were to do anything differently or create this project again, I would choose a more illustrative designer, to work more with creating more difficult imagery on my work. I think it would be interesting to play with texture more, but most of Thompson’s work does not utilize texture. I believe that I was somewhat successful in taking influence from Thompson. I created a design with use of geometric shapes, a central image, CMYK color scheme, halftones, and typography similar to what he would use in his designs. I could have done better with the differences in opacity that he frequently used. I felt that in my final design the difference wasn’t distinct enough. I also could have worked to take a different approach and take more inspiration from his work unassociated with CMYK, or his vast stamp work. However I am happy with my design and look forward to furthering my Photoshop and Illustrator skills more.


Little 500 Poster Influence

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This Little 500 poster was influenced by the designer Bradbury Thompson. I chose this artist because when I saw his art, I could visualize a poster in this style. I was attracted to the bright colors and modern look. His style of artwork was best well known for his usage of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black coloration. However, throughout all of his works there is always a deliberate use of color and typefaces.

Because of this, I was careful to think about the typeface specifically. I used the Alphabet 26 he invented, in which the a, m, n, and e are lowercase letters but the same size as the capitals. I used a font called Libre Baskerville I got on Google Fonts, because I liked it better than the Baskerville that came installed on my personal laptop.

As for the design aspects, I wanted to use the CMYK colors he was most known for because it is eye catching and appealing. He had several works that I directly took inspiration from when thinking about the repetition of biking figures, which are pictured in this post. I debated using real photographs of Little 500 bikers, but ultimately decided I wanted to create a more illustrative set of bikers.

I took an image of a biker and predominantly used the pen tool, basic geometric shapes, and pathfinder to create this graphic image of a biker. It took a few tries to get it just right – I had created the person as one complete image, then the bike, and the wheels. But, they needed to be layered correctly so as the legs were on the correct side of the bike and likewise the arms/hands to the handlebars. I had to go back in a couple of times and make adjustments. Overall, I really liked the way it turned out with these images. I think they work as a good focal point of the poster. On the plus side, there are four bikers per team in the Little 500 race, so having the four CMYK depictions worked out nicely.

For the layout of the text, I opted to center the top parts (Little 500 and Armstrong Stadium) so it balanced better with the bikers. However, when writing the Mens and Womens race dates, I decided to align one to the right and the other to the left. I did this because in a lot of Thompson’s works, his text is spread out all over the page and has unique alignments. I didn’t want to stick to all center-aligned and I think this worked out fairly well.

I looked up many artists and it was hard to choose just one. This was a very fun project and perhaps in the future I will do more influenced designs just for fun.

Influence Project

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Stefan Sagmeister is well known for the unorthodox, proactive designs that combine with status quo and question the designer’s role in the society. When Stefan Sagmeister was a student in New York, he met Tibor Kalman who inspired his design work all the time. Especially, his work at M&Co was deeply influenced by Tibor so that he cultivated his own career. After Stefan Sagmeister left M&Co due to the abruptly disbanding, he started to work for genre and medium, especially specializing in CD covers. Just like I.D. magazine, who promoter Stefan Sagmeister a lot, said “CD package designers are what poetry is to prose: distilled, intense, cunning, evocative and utterly complete. His intentions have set a new standard.” Even though Sagmeister had a good achievement on CD covers, the appearance of MP3 declined the popularity of CD. At that moment, Stefan Sagmeister announced one-year sabbatical to reinvent his work. During that year, Sagmeister ignore how his client or audience to think about and judge him. He devoted his time to discover himself completely and found his “aha” moment. When he came back, he also brought his new work – “text-based artwork, that uses the aphorisms and text fragments to express, either through poetic nuance or commanding declaratives, ideas designed to foster individual thought and group action.” (AIGA)

I was inspired by his text-based work, because it shows the attitude to life, to art work and even to exploring ourselves. Just as his motto said, “design that needed guts from the creator and still carried the ghost of these guts in the final execution.” Therefore, I decided to choose him as my influencer for my project. Additionally, his work style is very different from my own design preference, I want to take this chance to challenge myself.

In my work, I only applied one feature of his work – hand-writing typography. However, his work always combines real photography, such as a big human face, and a lot of hand-writing content with some line and arrows. At the beginning, I tried to find some photos of riders to show their emotions and put text on their faces. But this way is less originality. And then I used one person who win the race and put the text on the background by grouping to laps, just as my draft shown. But this idea is kind of stuck, because I didn’t how to make it look like a lap and how to fully fill the text. So, I finally chose to draw a part of bicycle and then put hand-writing content on it. And then use some warm colors like red, orange to show a lively atmosphere. The overall design idea is simple, but the text-creating process was very time-consuming.

The most difficult decision for me is whether to use the texture. I tried to put a metallic texture on my bicycle so that it is closer to real one. And the background can be a wall with brick texture so that the overall image is about a bicycle leaning to the wall. However, the texture made text blurred and hard to read. So, I finally decided to use the one without texture.

Overall, I feel my work is okay. This project not only challenges the creative process, it also requires a high level of technical skills. I always feel that I want a style, but I don’t know how to make that happen. I hope that situation will change as I learn more skills.

Alvin Lustig Influence

In just 40 years of life, Alvin Lustig made lasting contributions to the world of graphic design. Lustig may be best known for his contributions to book cover design, but he also designed magazines, interiors, and textiles. His work exemplifies modern design with its minimalism, fragmented, flat color, and abstract shapes, both solid and outlined. His work also often features small, restrained san serif typography and experimental, handwritten-style typography.

The colors in his work are vibrant, often featuring bright yellows, reds, blues, oranges, and pinks. The backgrounds of many of his works includes thin lines and symbols that look hand drawn and add texture to the overall work.

I was drawn to Lustig’s work for its carefully crafted simplicity, vivid colors, and quirky shapes and outlines. I was most inspired by his book covers, particularly his designs of The Great Gatsby, The Man Who Died, and Monday Night.

The center of visual interest in my design are two layered images of bicycles. The flat color of the yellow bike references the flat color of Lustig’s designs, and the overlaid outline draws from his design on the book cover, The Man Who Died. I struggled with the shape of the bikes in my poster design because I was worried the bikes were too carefully drawn and did not accurately represent more abstract the shapes of Lustig’s designs. I kept the original designs of the bikes, but if I could change something about the design, I would render the bikes in a blockier style.

Behind the bikes, I drew concentric ovals in wobbly lines to mimic Lustig’s thin line drawings on his book covers. My drawing is mean to resemble the Little 500 racetrack, but also to add some texture to the overall design because it stands in contrast to the flat color of the bike.

For typography, I was inspired by Lustig’s redesign of The Great Gatsby. The small, restrained type he employed on the cover inspired me to replicate the look on my own poster. I chose to use Futura, a modern, san serif that looks like the clean, efficient typography Lustig used. I also used Lustig’s paper cut-out-looking letters for the “500” in little 500. Initially, I had the numbers much larger and aligned with the horizontal of the page and in multiple colors. However, I decided the black and white was cleaner and more true to the work of Lustig, and made them smaller and slightly askew, as Lustig did on The Great Gatsby.

Overall, I am pleased with the design of the Little 500 poster because I think it successfully references Lustig’s work. The one area that may be too similar to Lustig’s designs is the typography of the “500,” which is drawn straight from the Gatsby cover. One area that may be too different from Lustig’s work is the drawing of the bikes in a less realistic way. My experience with this influence project was immensely valuable, and has shown me the importance of learning about the work of graphic designers that came before.

Psychedelic Graphic Design

I have always been drawn toward Psychedelic design because I associate with music, art, and general color schemes of the 1970’s. When I saw that I had the opportunity to create a poster based on any type of design, I jumped at the chance to challenge myself to learn how to create the wavy movement of the psychedelic graphic design style.

As I was researching the previously created psychedelic designs, I found myself drawn toward Bonnie MacLean and Wes Wilson. Both of these artists used lines and text to create dimension and movement within their designs that align with the “free spirit” stereotype of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Both artists ended up in San Francisco and are best known for their promotional rock concert posters that were spread around the Avalon Ballroom or Bill Graham’s Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. Their iconic and ultimately unique designs helped to change the face of rock-n-roll, as well, as the overall graphic design landscape. These two designers filled almost every inch of their posters with lines, variety of colors, and a new melting typeface. Both artists have had their works in displayed in museum exhibitions nationwide including the: MoMA and Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Wes Wilson is known as the man who was the first to use psychedelic design by incorporating a typeface that came from the Viennese Secessionist lettering he found in a University of California exhibition catalogue. Wilson built the scene around psychedelic rock concert posters while working with Bill Graham owner of the Fillmore. After cutting ties with the Fillmore and Bill Graham, Bonnie MacLean took the stage. Doodler turned graphic artist, Bonnie MacLean and Bill Graham were a dynamic duo. Bonnie followed the psychedelic traditions established by Wes Wilson, but added her own touches including facial expressions to her designs.

For my overall Little 500 Influence poster, I aligned with MacLean and Wilson’s psychedelic style through the use of colors, lines, text, and layout.

While looking at MacLean and Wilson’s works I associated with this deeper cranberry tone featured in some of their work. This cranberry tone, added with a variety of pink and purple tones to add depth, but consistently and similarity throughout the design. This deeper cranberry color is something that I think of in general when I think of the late 1960’s and 1970’s, specifically with Funk, Soul, and Groove genre’s of music. This color is one that I associate with, and is why I associated with Wilson and MacLean’s work. I wanted to use generally similar colors throughout the design to not add too much contrast. I noticed that within the psychedelic design category that graphic artist’s generally had an extremely high amount or low amount of contrast with color throughout their poster designs. While looking through posters designs I was more attracted to the designs that had a lower amount of contrast because they seemed to flow more and not have the “WOW I’m in your face” type of feel. For some of the colors I was inspired by a newer graphic artist that goes by the Instagram handle @Patersinister. He created a poster for one of my friend’s music festivals and I really liked the colors that he incorporated. They gave off a lighter ambiance and overall tone for that music poster, when compared to the darker toned posters created by MacLean. I tried to incorporate the use of both of these tones of colors.

I generally fiddled with a few different ideas for my poster, but ultimately decided on this design because movement I created with the lines. To create these lines I first looked at how these two artists utilized lines in their designs. I liked how the lines had multiple dimensions and different types of pen style strokes. I first drew all of the lines in my design as a stroke of 1. As I added color, and altered my lines, I found that I now could change the weight of the strokes to add dimension. These lines ultimately were supposed to be representative of bike lanes or a path that the bike was following. The lines were also supposed to be barriers to break up the information featured in the design to help de-clutter a full poster.

For the text, I looked on and found a font called JMH Psychedelic CAPS by Jorge Morón. I searched on for groovy, funky, and psychedelic fonts and this one was the most reflective of Wes Wilson’s usage of the Viennese Secessionist type. The type was probably the hardest part to maneuver throughout the document. I used a warping process where I created a shape with the pen tool and then warped the text to that exact shape. This took some general tinkering, but I liked to see my idea come to life as I completed the text portion. It was pretty fun honestly. I enjoyed using the envelope warp tool in Adobe Illustrator to create this design. It was interesting how the slightest change in a line would change the text. I worked with adding an outline to text blocks, but it seemed too crowded so I let the text naturally stand with an empty stroke.

I was unable to incorporate the facial expressions that Bonnie MacLean is known for. I wanted to originally incorporate a rider on a bike, but I couldn’t think of a proper way to make the bike associate with the time period. So I used text and incorporated color. This design doesn’t relate to IU by any means what so ever, but I think that is why it is so attractive to the eye.

During the class critique, I was pleased to hear that my classmates generally liked my initial design, but agreed when the bike that I originally had in the design was not fitting with the overall poster. I took the bike out and incorporated new text into the design. Otherwise my classmates had great things to say about my poster. Professor Layton agreed about the inconsistency of the bike icon and asked that I incorporate the brighter pink color into my piece. I added that brighter pink color, deleted the bike, and added a filter to age the poster.

Overall I am more than satisfied with my work specifically because I got to learn something completely new that challenged me during the process. This time consuming design was well worth the detail and thought process because I was able to see something that I was inspired by come to life. These two designers are definitely reflective of my design style (specifically with color) and I hope to be influenced them throughout my future projects.

All work that inspired this piece can be seen in the carousel below. I have also included some of my sketch designs. Enjoy!!

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Bradbury Thompson Influence

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I was first drawn to Bradbury Thompson’s most recognized work with the CMYK color scheme that he used, I really liked the simplicity of sticking to the basics. (I realize that his work extended beyond the CMYK color scheme but I am drawn to this so I decided to make it the centerpiece of my poster.) But his designs offer more than just simplicity. They combine historical illustrations/photography with this CMYK color scheme and his love for typography. Thompson even created his own typeface that again focused on simplifying the alphabet. Honestly, I looked at a lot of the graphic designers and design styles and a lot of them seemed to just have too much going on for my taste. I was really drawn to Thompson’s work because of his simplicity in color scheme, in images (lots of his work contained one image, repeated), and his typographic choices.

Thompson was successful in various areas of graphic design. He worked in printing production, as an art director for printing firms and magazines, designed for a corporation, designing contemporary postage stamps (who knew that was something people got in to) and in his teaching career at Yale. A very accomplished man in the world of graphic design.

For my Little 500 themed poster, I obviously wanted to use the CMYK color scheme that is so iconic to Thompson’s work. I chose to integrate the four colors in the racing bicycles, the image that I felt represented the race the best. The bikes are also where I chose to integrate the photography elements of Thompson’s work by using photos of bikes rather than drawing them myself. Most, if not all, of the work I’ve viewed from Thompson has some sort of photography or illustrative element to it, sometimes the photography is black/white and sometimes it is in the cyan/magenta/yellow colors, but it is there more often than not, at least in his most recognized work. In my poster, the photography element of the bike is where the colors come in, instead of being black/white. I chose to follow Thompson’s work where the photography elements repeat multiple times on the page as I repeated the bikes vertically down the page.

Looking at the typography, I noticed that a lot of Thompson’s typography was a serif so I also chose to use a serif. I could not find the name of the specific typeface he used but I used what I could to emulate his style. I kept the typography simple with big, black type as some of his work features very large type. As for the angles of the type, I really just used that to add some dimension to the piece. As far as angles vs. straight across type, Thompson used a variety in his work so I felt comfortable with my choice to angle both “little” and “500” in my poster. The smaller, vertical type is also something that I saw in some of Thompson’s work. Some of his work incorporated the long, vertical lines of type like my poster does, while other have small blocks of type or even small, spaced out lines of horizontal type. So he had a variety of styles when it came to the secondary type and I chose to incorporate the one that gave my poster the most dimension, in my opinion.

One thing that I was not able to incorporate as well as I would like is his use of opacity and overlapping in the CMYK elements. It is featured in a lot, but not all, of his work and I really like the look of it. The bike image that I created in photoshop ended up not transferring in the best quality so in order to really bolden the colors, I have a few of the bikes layered on top of themselves. I felt that I would rather play up the vibrancy of the colors than the overlapping/opacity quality because the colors are the most iconic part of Thompson’s work. Overall I am surprisingly pleased with how this poster came out and I had a lot of fun doing it – Thompson has definitely moved his way up to my favorite graphic designer at this point.

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Panda Publishing


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When creating the logo for this project I first thought about how the logo would look on a publication. I wanted the logo to be something simple and unique so that it would be easily distinguished and recognizable. I chose the name Panda Publishing because of the alliteration and the ease of remembering the name. I also chose the name because it would be easy to create strong symbolism that could correspond with the name.

After deciding on the name I drew up a lot of preliminary designs ranging from pandas with full bodies to just the eyes and the face. I landed on the simple face design because pandas have distinguished facial markings and would be easily recognized by almost every person. Then I played around with color and landed on keeping a simple black and white color scheme with a pop of  lime green to distinguish the shoots of bamboo in the P’s of Panda and Publishing.